This lake sunset was photographed from Jan’s beach: but believe me, the view is just as spectacular and almost as broad from most rooms in the house.
Here’s the beach in daylight, drought showing some extra sand. What you see decorating the water surface just beyond the dock’s end, sighting over the kayak and canoe, are wooden duck decoys. Lots of real wildlife come to call on them (just as the fish visit my lures!)
Right now the water is so high there is no beach! The lake embraces the slash pine, the bromeliads …The kayak and the canoe are pulled well up onto the lawn. The sailboat last year was moored in the shallows where it sculpts the wind direction! We tethered a pair of duck decoys in the same area.
2013 06 24 The other evening I accompanied Jan to a town meeting. The photos above show the shore opposite her house to be undeveloped, or at least to appear so from her side, the east shore. If you paddle across the lake and trespass around on the west shore you see plenty of tracks and trash. The other summer there was a huge fire: but then one gets used to the blackened slash pine, the trees gradually recover some green, it looks pristine again. Till this year. Now some guy, owner of the Charter Schools, purchased one hundred and eighty or so acres. He’s built a huge house, a humongous outbuilding, a huge horse barn.
The city of Sebring annexed the west shore. Jan and her neighbors are outside of Sebring, the wild west. I asked one guy what the law on burning was: he snapped, “There is no law!” The wild west. Anyway, Sebring prohibits horses: Jan’s side has horses, the side opposite, theoretically not. Oh, please, asked the rich guy: oh sure, said Sebring.
Now apparently he wants to build a 4,000+ square feet boat dock. Illegal, way too big for this little quiet fishing lake, with children. Oh, please says the rich guy. Sebring turns him down. He gathers a zillion lobbyists: please again, he begs.
I accompany Jan to see if indignation will help at the meeting.
The city fathers ask what the public has to say. Jan goes to the lectern, equipped with mic. She identifies herself, wants to know what horsepower the boats will have: it’s a small lake, quiet, intimate: families.
She concludes, I applaud sharply. Another woman steps up, against it. Again I applaud, sharply: loud.
The lobbyists speak some more. You can see the fathers drooling to kowtow to the rich guy. But some of the public has shown up! Some of the public has actually spoken against it!
The fathers vote, in code, who knows what it meant? but the lobbyists grumbling suggested defeat. Yay!
Next day, Jan gets fan phone calls, “Saw you on television!” Apparently the public podium was on camera.
I believe that our behavior turned the tide: her standing up, the second woman too, some guy whose case I didn’t follow, sounded political: and my clapping: twice, sharply.
Boy, I sure haven’t known political success in my life, there was a tiny taste.